Osprey Score 11 Runs But Fall in Extra Innings
MISSOULA, MT - Osprey RF David Sanchez' grand slam homerun in the bottom of the 7th gave the Osprey hope of a come from behind win as they suddenly jumped to a 10-9 lead. However, the Billings Mustangs tied the game in the top of the 8th on CF Mariel Bautista's solo homerun to send the game into extra innings. The Mustangs then exploded for 7 runs in the 10th to win going away 17-11. The game featured 28 combined runs, 31 hits, 9 errors, two 7-run innings, and 2 grand slam homeruns. Billings now leads the North Division by 3 ½ games heading into the series finale on Friday night at Ogren Park Allegiance Field. Each team has seven games remaining in the regular season.
The Osprey looked to be in pretty good shape early on. Missoula built a 6-0 lead after four innings by scoring at least one run in every inning. 1B Zac Almond drove in runs in the 1st and 4th with singles. 2B Brandon Leyton hit a solo homerun in the 2nd . CF Kristian Robinson added an RBI single in the 3rd and LF Alek Thomas doubled home a run in the 4th .
The game then took an unexpected turn in the top of the 5th . The Osprey made an inopportune error on a potential double play ground ball to load the bases with the Mustangs already with a run in. Billings clean up hitter C Pabel Manzanero then crushed a grand slam to straight away centerfield to make it 6-5 Osprey. The inning didn't end there as the Mustangs added two more and turned a 6-0 Osprey lead into a 6-7 deficit with a 7-run inning. Billings then added to the lead in the top of the 7th as their 2B Dylan Harris doubled home a run and then scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.
Down 9-6, the Osprey didn't fold the tent and loaded the bases with no outs in the home half of the 7th . That brought up Sanchez who lifted a high fly ball that hugged the left field line and cleared the fence just fair for a grand slam. Suddenly, the Osprey were ahead 10-9. After Bautista's homerun tied it for Billings, neither team could score again in the 8th or 9th . The Mustangs then produced their second 7-run inning of the night in the 10th to put the game away. Missoula got one back in the bottom half but fell by the 17-11 final.
The Osprey and Mustangs conclude their 4-game series on Friday night at Ogren Park Allegiance Field with first pitch at 6:35pm. Friday night is Fireworks Night with fireworks following the game. It is also Lunch Cooler Night with a free Osprey lunch cooler to the first 750 fans through the gates sponsored by SWX and ABC Montana. Tickets are on sale now at the MSO Hub in downtown Missoula or by visiting the Osprey at www.missoulaosprey.com.
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